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GPNs ‘more likely to have positive view of nursing as a career’

Nursing staff working in GP practices were more likely to have a positive view of nursing as a career than those in other areas of the NHS or the independent sector.

The Royal College of Nursing employment survey, conducted by the Institute for Employment Studies, found that this contrasted with the majority of nurses in other sectors, who were unlikely to recommend nursing as a career option.

This is reflected in the number of nurses in primary care looking for a new job. While 41% of those working on hospital wards are looking for new employment, only 27% of those in GP practices are doing the same.

This is despite half of nurses in GP practices believing there are few opportunities to access training for career development.

The survey, conducted online, garnered 7,720 responses from nurses working across all sectors, with just shy of 2,000 working in GP practices or the community.

Almost a quarter of these primary and community care nurses ‘almost always’ work through their breaks, with 36.5% of those in GP practices working more than their contracted hours several times each week.

Other key findings from the survey

  • Only 61% of community nurses felt they were ‘fairly well’ or ‘very well’ equipped to do their job
  • This compared with 94% of practice nurses and 78% of advanced nurse practitioners
  • 84% of community nurses reported turning up to work feeling unwell at least once per week
  • 70% of community nurses have experienced verbal abuse from a patient in the past 12 months